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Be your own croquis

Updated: Jan 25, 2021

In 2021, my biggest goal is to design pieces I adore wearing. I’m imagining getting dressed, pulling open my drawer of sweaters, and feeling like I’m choosing a favorite child because I have so many amazing options. I most often reach for layering cardigans in various weights and tunic-length sweaters with plenty of ease in the torso - so that’s what’s on deck for this year!

Sweater knitting shines when you’re creating pieces that make you feel terrific and that fit into your wardrobe. There are great tools for planning and scheduling your makes, but how much time do you invest in planning an individual piece before you add a sweater to your lineup?

Designing has transformed my knitting, starting with how I plan a project. One of my design tools is a fashion croquis - a line drawing of the human figure. I can move quickly through several ideas by sketching over these templates or refine an element like a neckline, for example, by trying out several different sketches side by side.

A pencil sketch of three sweaters, with a ruler and pencil laying on the sketchbook.
Quick - try three different necklines and hems!

Once I narrow down my design, I switch to pictures of real people, often from brands or people I follow that have a similar style. I find suitable poses, put a piece of sketch paper on top of my laptop screen, turn the poor thing on its side, and get tracing. This makes the design more ‘real’ for me, and can help me see where elements will look best on a body in different poses.

What would Lydia wear? (more about Lydia below)

Adding these tools to your own planning process can help you create your most-worn sweater yet!

Start with a line drawing croquis (I have some options below), and experiment with some of the following: